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 Post subject: NCSE: Polling Climate & Politics
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:07 am 
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from last Friday's NCSE newsletter:



A new survey from the Pew Research Center suggests that "Political fissures on climate issues extend far beyond beliefs about whether climate change is occurring and whether humans are playing a role ... These divisions reach across every dimension of the climate debate, down to people's basic trust in the motivations that drive climate scientists to conduct their research."

Asked, "Which of these three statements about the Earth's temperature comes closest to your view?":

-- 48% of respondents preferred or leaned toward "The Earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity such as fossil fuels."

-- 31% preferred or learned toward "The Earth is getting warmer mostly because of natural patterns in the Earth's environment."

-- 20% preferred or leaned toward: "There is no solid evidence that the Earth is getting warmer."

The Pew Research Center's report observed, "there are wide differences among political party and ideology groups on whether or not human activity is responsible for warming temperatures. A large majority of liberal Democrats (79%) believe the Earth is warming mostly because of human activity. In contrast, only about one-in-six conservative Republicans (15%) say this, a difference of 64 percentage points."

Asked, "As far as you know, how many climate scientists say that human behavior is mostly responsible for global climate change?":

-- 27% of respondents preferred "Almost all."

-- 35% preferred: "More than half."

-- 20% preferred "About half."

-- 11% preferred "Fewer than half."

-- 4% preferred "Almost none."

3% offered no answer. ("Almost all" is correct: multiple surveys show that the level of consensus among climate scientists is upward of 97%.)

There was a similar political split with regard to the question about scientific consensus. While 55% of liberal Democrats responding preferred the "almost all" answer, the Pew Research Center's report noted, "[s]ome 29% of moderate/conservative Democrats say almost all climate scientists agree that human behavior is responsible for climate change, while some 16% of conservative Republicans and 13% of moderate/liberal Republicans say the same."

The survey was conducted May 10-June 6, 2016, by web and mail. "The margin of sampling error for the sample of 1,534 respondents is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points. ... In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls."


ED: In closely related news, Obama has been on the campaign trail, smiting the Republicans in a way Hillary Clinton can't. He spoke in Ohio last week, with excerpts cited below:


We have Republican friends, we've got Republican neighbors - at the Little League game, soccer game. At the parent-teachers conference, we meet them. Some great people. We don't even think that most Republican politicians actually really believe that Donald Trump is qualified to be President. I know because I talk to them. They're all like: Man, this is really bad -- we're just trying to get through this. [LAUGHTER]

But the problem is not that all Republicans think the way this guy does. The problem is, is that they've been riding this tiger for a long time. They've been feeding their base all kinds of crazy for years, primarily for political expedience. So if Trump was running around saying I wasn't born here, they were okay with that as long as it helped them with votes. If some of these folks on talk radio started talking about how I was the anti-Christ, you know, it's just politics. [LAUGHTER] You THINK I'm joking! [LAUGHTER]

... somebody completely denies climate change, or is filled up with all kinds of conspiracy theories about how me and Hillary started ISIL, or that we were plotting to declare martial law and take away everybody's guns ... We did a military exercise - the Pentagon does these periodically in Texas, and suddenly all the folks in Texas were all like, they're going to take over right now! [LAUGHTER] I'm SERIOUS! And then the senator down there said: Yeah, we better look into that. And the governor says: Well -- I don't know.

What do you MEAN, you don't know!? REALLY? You think that the entire Pentagon said: Oh, really, you want to declare martial law and take over Texas? Let's do it under the guise of routine training missions ... they took it SERIOUSLY.

This is in the swamp of crazy that has been fed over and over and over and over again. Look, I - and there's sort of a spectrum, right - it's a whole kind of ecosystem. And look, if I watched Fox News I wouldn't vote for me. I understand. If I was listening to Rush Limbaugh, I'd say, man, that's TERRIBLE! Fortunately, I have more diverse sources of information. [APPLAUSE]


ED: I think I know what will happen on 8 November. What happens after that ... I haven't a clue, but I am apprehensive.

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